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Spring Updates

captain Bill

It has been a remarkable winter for us aboard Westward, we have drifted among a group of surface feeding blue whales, snorkeled among playful California sea lion pups, stroked friendly grey whales and, swum in the midst of a thousand schooling mobula rays.

We have only a few weeks remaining in our winter season in Baja California and will soon be beginning our own migration; from the warm waters of the Sea of Cortes, to the rich cold inland seas of SE Alaska.

Meanwhile Catalyst is only a few days away from departing Friday Harbor for her own summer season in Alaska. Her crew is gathered and putting the last finishing touches on a long list of winter chores. Engineer Shane Blair and Naturalist Sarah Drummond have painted, cleaned, varnished and refurbished their way through their check list, and Catalyst is almost ready to sail.
Her new captains, Paul Brown and Bernadette Castner, are aboard and organizing the pilothouse, Michael Neswald, the chef, has just returned to Seattle after spending almost 2 weeks with us aboard Westward, where, hopefully, he was able to soak up enough warmth and sun to last until summer reaches SE Alaska in June.

I am very excited about the team that has come together to run these two old adventurers, vessels who, when their log booked are added together, have covered hundreds of thousands of sea miles. Bernadette and Paul, who will be dividing the summer’s captain’s duties between them, have vast experience operating boats in the Pacific Northwest, and bring a high level of professionalism to our operation. Michael, whose experience belies his youthful appearance, has a deep education in preparing fine food. We will also be welcoming a new naturalist to the Catalyst team, Kristin Currin. Kristin and her husband run a nursury specializing in plant species native to their Hood River, Oregon region.

Shane and Sarah will be returning this season as will Caroline Olson, who will join us aboard Westward. We are all looking forward to seeing our favorite places to see what changes the winter has wrought.

Westward will sail for Seattle from La Paz on about May 5th, and we hope to arrive in time to upgrade a couple of engine room systems before we sail from Friday Harbor on June 9th. We are excited and appreciative to have our season almost filled, and look forward ourselves to seeing our favorite anchorages again. I am almost eager for rain! Almost.

If you are interested in traveling with us this season, we still have some room. Call (360-378-7123) or email ( our office manager, Lisa Meschke to book a trip. Just choose a trip itinerary, find a week that fits into your schedule, and click the “book now” button.

We very much appreciate your choosing to sail with Pacific Catalyst, and how your patronage allows us to maintain these two classic vessels, and to explore the Pacific coast of North America aboard them. We look forward to seeing you on board.